2012: A year to dial back

I started this week thinking about what I wont do in 2012. 2011 was a very eventful year for me and my family. We bought a house, sold a house, bought another home, started a new company (Jivity, and Vinita started Social Hues), invested in several startups and also committed significant capital to specific projects. All this coupled with a hectic travel schedule of speaking engagements, which saw me out of the office for 84 days out of 250 working days and 25 days on leisure travel.

There are multiple things I would love to do but dont have time for at all. The focus of my time is being spread too thin to get enough value from my own company sufficiently.

So, here’s a list of things I am not doing to do in 2012.

1. Reduce speaking engagements dramatically to less than 1 a quarter. In Q1 I have committed to being at Kolkata to help friend Aninda Das at NASSCOM, and one more at Coimbatore which I committed to in late Nov last month. That’s it, and I dont plan to either attend or speak at more engagements until March. Just to compare that to 2011, I was committed to 41 speaking engagements throughout the year. This also means that I am going to reduce the number of entrepreneur networking events, dramatically.

2. Less mentoring and advising startup entrepreneurs. This is something I really enjoy and like, but I have to give up, since I just dont have the time.

3. Definitely not writing a book. I was toying with the idea to write a book on sales & selling to help entrepreneurs, but the commitment of time is tremendous, so I have to pass on that also. I would really enjoy this project, especially since I love writing.

4. Not work on any more new “ideas”. Like most of you, I get multiple ideas each day / week / month. Some I pursue and many I drop. The ones I do follow up on, I have done a fairly shoddy job, since there are too many competing priorities I am juggling.

5. No more startup investing. Having committed money to several startups in the last 2 years, I have much to learn still and more to digest. 2012 is my year to digest and step back and watch on the sidelines. I will no doubt miss several promising entrepreneurs and some important trends, but this too will have to be passed for lack of time.

Why this strict regime, is a question I got asked by a good friend over lunch last week?

The biggest reason is focus.

I was doing too many multiple things that I enjoyed, without a clear focus on the one thing that would get me the best return. I was not practicing what I preached to most folks – Focus on doing one thing very well, instead of multiple things poorly.

So what am I going to focus on for 2012. Just to take Jivity to the next level and focus on maintaining good physical health – primarily by reducing my intake of junk food.

I will you all an awesome 2012!

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